Ruben Natal-San Miguel –American, (Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico) is an architect, photographer, curator, writer, art collector and consultant specializing primarily in the art of fine emerging photography.
His work has been shown nationally and internationally at Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York; Finch & Ada, New York; Kris Graves Projects, Fuchs Projects, Hous Projects, New York and Los Angeles; University of Washington, Seattle; Art in FLUX Harlem; Picture Black Friday 2009 and 2011; A Decade of Photographs 2000-2011, The New York Public Library 2010 -2014; Karyn Mannix Contemporary; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; La Maison D’Art Gallery; SCOPE NYC & Miami; Agua Art Fair during Art Basel Miami Beach; PULSE NYC; Art Chicago; Zona MAco, Mexico City; Ripe Art Gallery NY; Photo LA; and Phillips Auction House.
His photography and curated shows have been published in several publications including The New York Times, Toronto Star, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, L Magazine, ARTnet, American Suburb X, The Bushwick Daily, Time OUT, The Atlantic, Aperture, Daily News, Wink Magazine, the Hamptons Star, Urban Italy Magazine, French Photo and The New Yorker. In 2013, he won the Photo District News Magazine Portrait competition. In 2014 he was a winner in the Castell Photography NEXT competition juried and curated by Elizabeth Avedon.
He has also collaborated on several projects with prominent artists including Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas for a project about the identity of The Puerto Rican Flag shown at the Museum Park de la Villette, Paris, France April 7- July 6, 2009.
Ruben Natal-San Miguel holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Architecture from Boston Architectural College and Finance and Business Administration from Boston University. After 20+ years he continues to work and live in Manhattan, NYC.
I have always been drawn to uniqueness, attention to detail, texture, patterns, bright colors, great design and self-expression. When I saw Souleo in these wearable art button shorts, created by Beau McCall, my eye went right to them and wanted to capture such a sense of unique style. I always photograph what makes an instant impression on me.
The rest of the ensemble was fantastic but the button-embellished shorts were what gave me an instant jolt and sense of remembrance. The shorts reminded me of the late great fashion designer, Patrick Kelly, who also worked with buttons. Plus the shorts reminded me that a cut off pair of jeans could be transformed into a great piece of wearable art.
In this era of aggressive gentrification when everything rich and colorful that represents a strong part of street culture is vanishing by the minute, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the subjects and events that still have the resilience and spirit to keep marching on. This portrait photograph does just that.
The Button ShowJanuary 21st- March 12th, 2016